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Workers' Compensation

Iowa: Court Overturns $7 Million Verdict Against Co-Employee

An Iowa appellate court, following the “narrow” exception to co-employee immunity established in Thompson v. Bohlken, 312 N.W.2d 501, 505 (Iowa 1981), held that a state trial court was correct when it granted a defendant/co-employee a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in as much as there was nothing in the record that suggested the co-employee had “knowledge” that his actions would make an injury to the plaintiff “probable.” The court stressed that under Thompson, three elements must be established to avoid the exclusive remedy rule: (1) that the co-employee had knowledge of the peril to be apprehended; (2) that the co-employee had knowledge that injury was a probable—as opposed to a possible—result of danger; and (3) that the co-employee consciously failed to avoid the peril. Plaintiff here had not shown the requisite knowledge on the part of the defendant/co-employee.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Ganka v. Clark, 2019 Iowa App. LEXIS 1062 (Nov. 27, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 111.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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